Some of us claim to be all for new materials that will save the oceans, reduce plastic waste, and so on. But change our straws or our beloved coffee lids and we’re less enthusiastic. Food packaging matters, not just in terms of its functionality but in terms of how it makes us feel about a product. Take Canadian milk, often sold in bags. Ewwww, milk bags, right? It’s upending our expectations of a common product, and that’s more unsettling to us than it should be. Now, take the case of a new food package actually coming to American grocery stores: Whole Foods rotisserie chicken in bags.
The grocery chain announced it’s ditching the rotisserie chicken clamshell packages in favor of bags, which use 70% less plastic. (We’re guessing they look something like these.) Grocery chain Wegmans has already made this swap.
Additionally, Whole Foods will also switch out plastic straws for paper straws “with frozen drinks or upon request” at its coffee bars, juice bars, and cafes by July. It will retain plastic straws for customers with disabilities. Whole Foods has already reduced the size of its plastic produce bags. The company says the chicken bags, smaller produce bags, and paper straws will save roughly 800,000 pounds of plastic per year.
Sounds good to us. Retaining the plastic-straw option for customers with disabilities addresses one of the sticking points of plastic-straw bans, and who really cares whether a rotisserie chicken comes in a clamshell or bag? In fact, my beef with the rotisserie chicken clamshells is that not only are they not recyclable in certain areas, but they take up a ton of room in the garbage can. Bring on the bags, I say. Your move, Costco.